GovBytes: At least 100 million compromised records in 2011 linked to hacktivism

Statistically, 2011 was the year of the hacktivist according to a Verizon report. The report, which analyzed 855 databreaches worldwide that occurred in 2011, concluded that more than 100 million of the 174 million records compromised was the work of hacktivists rather than those seeking profit. In contrast, only 3% of the attacks were traceable to known hacktivist groups, meaning hacktivism is responsible for the vast majority of compromised data. An executive summary of the report reads:

“The online world [in 2011] was rife with the clashing of ideals, taking the form of activism, protests, retaliation, and pranks.”

Hacktivism Linked to 100 Million Records Compromised in 2011

The report by Verizon also concludes that there is little evidence to suggest that storing data via the cloud makes the data any more vulnerable to attacks. Brian Sartin, Vice President of Verizon’s Research Investigations Solutions Knowledge team said in a recent CFOWorld article, “We’re seeing very little evidence of data breaches in the cloud … There’s a compelling lack of statistics for that.”

Is it imperative to put an end to hacktivism? Will the move to cloud storage help slow the success of groups like Anonymous and LulzSec?

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David Fletcher

We have seen a spike in 2011-12 in terms of the overall threat environment and have made some majore changes to our overall information security strategy. Government continues to be a bigger target and needs to take this growing threat seriously. Most state and local governments are moving slowly to the cloud (probably slower than my own state of Utah on average), but in most cases, they are still not moving their most sensitive data to the public cloud so I do not see that as being a major factor in this particular trend.